3rd SR Crapometer #39-partial for sure on this

Dear Miss Snark,

I am seeking representation for my romantic comedy novel, XYZ, completed at 90,000 words. It was highly commended in the New Great Read competition run by the UKAuthors website. It has been voted into the top ten chart of its genre on the You Write On website, sponsored by the Arts Council (England). It has also been short-listed in several smaller competitions. (none of this is anything I care about, you could leave it all out)

Nearly Dearly is a contemporary tale set in the town of Throcking Parva, England, amid the dated decor and padded banquettes of The Pink Pig Café.

Róisin Connor, a waitress at the café, has three men in her life. There’s her boss Alex Dearly, Gabe Locksmith the celebrity stylist, and a corpse. It’s the corpse who is causing Róisin the most concern. He’s taken a secret to the grave and she is determined to discover what it is. When she does, she understands how the Dearly family put the D in dysfunctional.

More than one hundred of my short stories have been published in women’s magazines in the UK and abroad. I have also contributed to four of the Sexy Shorts anthologies (Accent Press). (ah!! Here are the pub credits I DO want to hear about!)

Thank you for reading my manuscript.
Yours sincerely,

This is a good query letter.
Now, let's pray to dog you can write.

Nearly Dearly
Chapter One

There’s no doubt, had he known he was about to have a coronary, William Charles Dearly would have preferred to meet his demise mid-tournament on his beloved bowling green. As it was, he went arse over toupee in the biscuit section, while picking up the weekend groceries in Singh’s Eight ’til Late.

Maggie, his wife, was mortified. Not because William had collapsed over the Mr Kipling’s, but because a neighbour witnessed the whole sorry episode and spread the gossip throughout the East Midlands that she’d spied two tins of Spam and a copy of Playboy in his shopping basket.
Alex, Maggie’s son – and, incidentally, my boss at The Pink Pig Café – assured her that no one was going to be remotely interested in her husband’s little peccadilloes.

Jeez, couldn’t a man be excused a little soft porn at the weekend?

Apparently, Maggie’s shame and embarrassment lay more with her husband’s purchase of the tinned, processed meat than the fact that he had a penchant for naked ladies.

“He knows we only buy the wafer-thin organic.”

I wonder if somewhere in the Good Housekeeping Guide, there is a chapter on pork product etiquette.


“Is this your mother’s signature dish?” I prodded the skin on what looked suspiciously like a strawberry and broccoli quiche. “You could get her to give you the recipe. Put it on our menu at The Pig.”

“It’s no laughing matter, Raz,” said Alex. “Isn’t it bad enough we’re cremating my dad today without despatching the rest of us with food poisoning?”

“ I presume you did offer to do the catering?”

“And she refused, yes. What is it with her? She hasn’t been the same since Millennium Eve.”
I knew all about that. Maggie had told me. ‘Fifty is a milestone in a woman’s life, Róisin. And what do I get? Shingles and the bloody menopause.’

“I only hope people don’t think I’m responsible for this,” Alex continued. “I could lose all credibility. Imagine what our clientele would think if I churned out this sort of...”

Words failed him. Hardly surprising. In the two years I’d worked for Alex, I’d never known him ‘churn’ anything out. He supplied top quality fare, to a discerning clientele. Okay, so we did a roaring lunch trade in BLTs, mainly because we were opposite the bank and the guys there liked to grab something cheap. No doubt, they claimed five-course lunches on their company expenses, but that’s for their accounts department and the taxman to worry about.

I also have to emphasize that The Pink Pig is a café and not a caff. It said so on our letterheads and, naturally, in pink lettering above the double, bow-fronted, middle-terraced shop on Lower Edge Moor, Throcking Parva.

Alex slumped against the doorframe, attempting despair, which he did extraordinarily badly. No matter how he organised his facial features, he still looked beautiful. It’s his mouth, I think. His lips always appear to be forming into a smile, even when he’s upset or angry. But then, I was biased. I fell in love with him the first time I watched him demonstrate the correct way to tease the flesh from a ripe mango.

by dog, she can. Yes there's some paring to be done, but I'd jump on this one with all four feet.


December Quinn said...

I love this! Great voice!

Gina Black said...

It’s his mouth, I think. His lips always appear to be forming into a smile, even when he’s upset or angry. But then, I was biased. I fell in love with him

I think you have a tense problem here:

...But then, *I'm* biased. I fell in love...

Otherwise, this reads easily. Characters already interesting. Good job!

Bernita said...

Yes, she certainly can.
It's a del;icous hoot!

M. G. Tarquini said...

This one has me laughing. Great voice.

Anonymous said...

Yes, LIKE this, reads clever and quick.

Some of the Brit-only references will go right over American heads, so a certain amount of in-context translation is recommended.

But the protag's fancy name bothers mightily with its precious little apostrophe. Yanks are going to be put off by the pretension.

I'd take Sam Gamgee's gaffer's advice and pick something that will wear well for everyday use.

Anonymous said...

Wowie, zowie. You go, #39.

AZ Author

A. M. said...

Totally loving it.

Are the subs getting much better now? How weird a coinkidink.

Oh, almost forgot: congrats, author!

otto said...

It's obvious that the author has the voice down pat. Aside from a few typically English references that may (or may not) intrude upon other than UK readers, I think it's got a great start.

Anonymous said...

That's awesome. I hope the rest of that makes it to print someday soon.

Writerious said...

I want to know the title of this one so that I can look for it when it comes out -- though even knowing the title now may not help, if the title gets changed in the publication process.

Termagant 2 said...

Author, IMO, go out & buy that hot little black dress. If you're a guy, get a nice suit or something (not savvy on current guy-attire). You're gonna need it.


Manic Mom said...

Yay! Miss Snark likes one! Great job, writer girl!

PicAxe said...

Awesome! I'd definitely want to read on. I love the voice, the subtle humor, and the smooth writing.

Anonymous said...

This is the best one yet, imo! Congrats, author!

Virginia Miss said...

I'd keep reading, this is the kind of stuff I just love. Great voice; wish I could read more. Good luck, author!

overdog said...

Moi aussi! Delightful. I also like the Brit references, and I'm American. For me, it's a chance to learn something new.

Don't know why I wasn't interested enough to learn the computer jargon in a previous submission, but there you go.

Anonymous said...

I'm the author, and yes, I'm female for the Snarkling who asked!I truly didn't expect such wonderful comments. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I've read 50 so far, and this is the best writing so far. I'm hooked.

ello said...

This is my absolute favorite! I really want to read the rest. How long am I gonna have to wait?!!!

kaolin fire said...

Hell, I want to know how to tease the flesh off a ripe mango.

Jeb said...

I would SO read more pages of this. In fact, I read bits of the query letter and the opening paragraphs out loud to my loyal spouse, who would also read on. And we almost NEVER voluntarily read the same stuff.

So, obviously, there's wide appeal in this opening. Good going, Author!

Anonymous said...

I liked this too!

Just one note:

But the protag's fancy name bothers mightily with its precious little apostrophe. Yanks are going to be put off by the pretension.

I can't do them on my computer, but those aren't apostrophes, they're fadas, and they're extremely common in Irish names. They're no more 'precious' than the accents used in French. Roisin (with fadas) is a very common and not at all pretentious Irish name.

That doesn't take away from the fact that it may well read as 'pretentious' and 'precious' to American eyes, and certainly will be unpronounceable* to a majority of people outside Ireland, but I just thought I'd point it out.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Stuart MacBride in a dress--which ain't all bad.

McKoala said...

I lik the writing too. Gobsmacked by the commentary on the name. That's not precious, it's just how it's written

Anonymous said...

Yes, Roisin (with fadas) is indeed an Irish name. Pronounced Roesheen it means rose.
And I wouldn't change it...not even for Miss Snark ;0)

xiqay said...

Love it, love it, love it. Love the cozy feel. Love the humor. Can't wait for the real deal (book at the store).

Anonymous said...

What happened to show, don't tell? This one seemed boring to me. Miss Snark must have had a little too much to drink before reading this one.

Natalia said...

I was beginning to despair... And then I read this. Huzzah. My faith in the future of the writing profession is restored.

~Nancy said...

This was great - the voice is spot on, and the humor is deadpan and delectable.

I'd definitely read on, as I have to think there's more fun to be had.

Author, good luck with this!


Anonymous said...

The first of all those so far that I really thought was quality writing, but then I like P.G. Wodehouse and the clever witty British.

Lovely writing, want to read the book asap.


Dayle A. Dermatis said...

This reminds me a lot of Christina Jones, a British author I adore. I'd love to read more!